Record 480 new cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba

Another resident of Parkview Place personal care home has died, as Manitobans prepare to hear from health leaders following a record-breaking day for new COVID-19 cases.

St. Boniface Hospital announced the death Friday morning after the resident was transferred there. This brings the death toll to 20 in the province’s deadliest care home outbreak, where 101 residents and 32 staff have tested positive.

Health leaders are expected to discuss new measures meant to curb the growth of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba at their Friday news conference.

Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer, and Lanette Siragusa, chief nursing officer with Manitoba Shared Health, will hold a news briefing at 12:30 p.m. CBC will live stream it here.

There’s been a rapid rise in new COVID-19 cases this week. Manitoba set new records for the most cases announced in a single day twice this week.

Every day for more than a week, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital has broken a new record, more than tripling from 28 on Oct. 19 to 97 on Thursday.

Over that same period, the number of patients in intensive care has gone from six to 17, down a little from the record high of 19 set on Wednesday.

Health Minister Cameron Friesen said Thursday that the province’s current approach to the pandemic isn’t working, and he hinted more restrictions would be coming soon.

The rising cases have begun to strain the province’s health-care system, especially in Winnipeg, which has been at the restricted orange level on the province’s pandemic response system for more than a month. 

On Wednesday, Siragusa warned that intensive care units in the city were nearly full. St. Boniface Hospital announced Thursday that its ICU was over capacity and could no longer accept new patients.

An outbreak at St. Boniface Hospital has infected one more staff member, for a total of 12 staff and 25 patients. As of Thursday, an outbreak at Victoria General Hospital had infected 28 patients and 21 staff members.

The infections are putting additional strain on hospital staff. The Manitoba Nurses Union said Thursday they knew of 15 nurses at St. Boniface Hospital and at least 12 nurses at Victoria General Hospital who have tested positive, and eight nurses at St. Boniface are isolating due to possible exposure.

On Monday, Roussin said if the trend continued, the province would reach 5,000 cases of COVID-19 by the end of the week. On Thursday, the total number of cases in Manitoba since the start of the pandemic was 4,894.

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